Updated: Feb 25, 2019
Sometimes just a little tweak like a nickname can make an ordinary name suddenly sound super cool.
Take Dick 'Night Train" Lane the hall of fame defensive back; if he was just 'Richard Lane' perhaps he wouldn't be seared into our memory.
But many jazz greats have nifty names that seem to fit right into the coolness of the jazz universe.
True, Dick 'Night Train' Lane could have fit in playing bass at the Village Vanguard but I couldn't see Jelly Roll Morton clotheslining a leatherhead and forcing a game winning fumble recovery.
That being said 'Cannonball Adderley' could have.
Not all jazz greats have killer names (Oscar Peterson, David Murray) but I'm convinced, just like 'Germans Love David Hasslehoff' that if you are christened with a cool jazz name at birth you WILL become a great jazz musician.
That's why I named my son 'Skeets Malloy.'
Let's take a look at some of the jazz greats that also have great jazz names.
(Be sure to make it to the bottom to see the winner...)
Coleman Hawkins actually could have been a ballplayer also.
But he went the way of jazz and of course he went the way of jazz sax.
Seems the jazz sax guys always wind up having the coolest names too. So let's consolidate the coolest jazz sax players in the interest of time:
NAT KING COLE
MEADE LUX LEWIS
AND THE WINNER IS...
Thus proving my theory: If you are born with a cool jazz name or tweak it just enough, you WILL become a jazz great.